Wrestling team ripples the mats

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photo by Loras College Athletics

The wrestling team as a whole had a tough weekend in La Crosse, WI at the Candlelight Suites Duals. Still, some individual wrestlers put up a big fight and pulled out some nasty wins that shocked everyone.

Junior Jimmy Davis had an incredible day by becoming the second Duhawk this season to defeat a number one ranked wrestler. Davis was leading 4-3 over Grant Parker from Augsburg at the start of the third round. He then wiped up Parker 14-4, using two takedowns, riding time, and 4-point near fall. First-year Eddie Smith defeated the first No. 1 ranked wrestler at the dual against UW-Stevens Point. Davis’ defeat of Parker marked a five match winning streak for him.

Sophomore Javier Soto wrestled at 197-pounds and had a spectacular performance. Soto showed his dominance and pulled out two wins. He defeated Logan Hortop from Augsburg, beating him 7-1. The amazing feat came when he defeated Adam Gusky from UW-La Crosse with a tech fall. Soto scored 21 points to get the tech fall and show his drive as a wrestler.

The next big notable wrestler of the day was sophomore Quin Gilliam. Gilliam also had a successful day winning both of his matches. Both of his matches were within four points or less but ended in victory. First, he defeated Ethan Hofacker from Augsburg, 7-3. He then went on to beat Konrad Ernst from UW-La Crosse in a close battle of 5-2. For being in the heavyweight weight class, Gilliam has surprising speed, which he used to help him win those two matches on Saturday.
Even with the team overall struggling this weekend, going 0-3 at the Candlelight Suites Duals, head coach TJ Miller believes a few wrestlers showed some promises.

“It was very tough competition. We are only a few matches from making a couple of those dual matches very close. When you have guys like Eddie Smith and Guy Patron out of the line-up it will hurt you a little. But we had a couple others have really good days. HWT Quin Gilliam wrestled really well and Javier Soto had a great day as well,” said Miller.

Even though star first-years Smith and Patron were out this weekend, Davis still managed to make an extraordinary feat by beating Grant Parker.

“I would have to say the guys that have been the most consistent throughout the year have been first-years Eddie Smith and Guy Patron. Jimmy Davis was just added to that list. He made a really big statement beating the number one ranked wrestler. Not sure how much bigger of a statement someone can make,” Miller said.

The team ends the semester with facing Augustana at home Thursday at 7 p.m. They then have a tournament on Dec. 17. Coach Miller thinks the team will be a strong force to be reckoned with next semester.

“If they keep trusting the process and keep doing the right things then this team will be tough in January and February.”

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